I wrote this piece while in tears.
Someone very close to me told me about her relationship with her partner. When I think about her situation I question and wonder why it is that we people can be stuck. I reflect on my experiences and patterns of being stuck in patterns I wanted out of. Patterns that seemed to consume me. Patterns that closed off alternative ways of engaging with life. Patterns that stifled my spirit. Patterns that stifled my voice.
I am free now. At least from most of these shackling patterns. My heart wrenches daily when I think about my beautiful friend and her situation. Wishing there was a way to assist and support her to make what I believe is the ‘right’ choice. But, what I understand is that perhaps some people need to stay stuck. The pay off of being stuck can sometimes supersede priority of achieving liberation.
My path is to choose volition, meaning, purpose, and existential liberation. When I become my worst barrier, I do my best to put myself out in the open; congruent with transparency in my being that employs me to be as vulnerable as possible. I understand most people do not want to feel vulnerable. These lessons were taught to me by Viktor Frankl in his book Man’s Search for Meaning.
In my life experience vulnerability is my freedom. Liberation through vulnerability, while allowing myself to feel shame, guilt, regret, and utter sadness allows me to enjoy the moments of my life that have more meaningful impacts on my spirit than I ever thought was possible.
I am not shackled today, by choice. There is a cost for this. It intimidates many people; many people do not understand why and how I would do this; folks can sometimes pick me as a target for social attacks in their ego-based social warfare; often I am scape-goated because I leave myself vulnerable in many respects; and people often perceive me as being ego-centric, self-righteous, and a martyr because they are uncomfortable with my state of being.
This poem, is so important to my spirit. This poem is one of the few pieces I re-read time and time again. I never want to be the repeated emotional abuser against another person that I claim to love. My understanding of love for another demands that my partner would want and desire me. Never do I want to be the recipient of mechanical offerings for sexually-dominant gratification. To do so would violate my spirit, and the spirit of the one proclaimed to be loved.
Paulo Freire, in his book Pedagogy of the Oppressed, talks about how our education system is mechanical, oppressive, and abusive. He offers a solution that offers a pathway of education that honours the spirit. A way for education to be turned into a true dialogue where the teacher and student build a humanistic bridge between one another. A bridge that is built upon the foundation of meaningful humanistic dialogue. This dynamic of education that Freire articulates can be interpreted as a metaphor for relationships.
Later on, Paulo Freire wrote a book called Pedagogy of the Heart. In this book he describes the point that if we operate in mechanical ways of being, we become close minded and close hearted. Often people attribute being closed minded as being ‘old’. Freire talks about living life with a young mind in spite of having an ‘old’ body. We do not need to be ‘old’ because we are closing in on the end of our life. He indicates that remaining young in the mind is liberation. In this point, he explains that we should always do our best to remain respectively vulnerable and open to learning from one another. Engaging in mechanical relationships, as described in this poem, is to close off the human spirit and to stifle our true intrinsic and ontological purpose: existential liberation.
I offer this poem to honour my connection to my kin-spirit. I offer this poem to those engaged and stuck in a pattern that they feel deep down in their heart and/or mind that feels like a violation. There is a way out of a pattern. It takes a willingness to become comfortable with the uncomfortableness of being vulnerable, while knowing you risk being hurt. Vulnerability can be transformed into a spiritual strength; or a moral standardized way of being.
I do my best to be as vulnerable as possible and to let people know me, as I am. I resist and falter in this action because I am human, but I am willing to repeatedly make the conscious decision to re-establish my vulnerability. I am my own worst enemy. As an adult who has achieved a degree of existential liberation, I allow myself to be free from my own fear whenever possible. especially in matters relating to the heart.
This poem is currently unpublished.